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Once Bustling Business Area Now Quiet

Those foreclosed signs that once littered front yards throughout the valley are quickly being replaced by for lease banners on empty storefronts all over town. One area hit particularly hard by the recession are the shopping centers located at Sahara and Decatur.

"A lot of the big businesses have been going under -- stores that had been around a long time," said Las Vegan David Das.

Das works and shops in the once busy commercial center at Sahara and Decatur. His customers comment all the time on the growing number of store closures in the area. "They say this place is like a desert. This used to be a central shopping point in the city and now there's barely anything over here," he said.

Several nearby auto dealerships, restaurants, and large corporate-owned stores have gone under in the past two years, including Sports Authority, Circuit City, and Pier One Imports.

Volunteers Labor to Make a Difference in their Neighborhood

Although many people had a day off for Labor Day that didn't stop some people from rolling up their sleeves and giving back to their community.

As part of a project organized by Senator Steven Horsford, dozens of people spent their Labor Day cleaning, painting, and recycling in west Las Vegas. They called it a "green day of service" and many said this Labor Day is much different than past year.

With record high unemployment rates and cities facing budget cuts, many people said they just wanted to use the holiday to make a small difference.

Seventeen-year-old Chris Thomas had the day off from school and while many of his friends chose to spend it by the pool, he says he wanted to help his community.

"It makes me feel really accomplished like I did something to help. I can see what I've done to help," Thomas said.

Shelter Turning Families Away

Officials say a charity that offers safe haven for women and children in Las Vegas is having to turn families away.

Shade Tree executive director Marlene Richter says the center on Main Street north of downtown Las Vegas has just 327 beds and 20 cots. Officials say donations of money, food, bus passes and baby items such as strollers and bassinets are welcome.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

UNLV Partners with Brookings Institution

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is announcing a partnership with the Washington-based Brookings Institution to study issues critical to western states such as growth, energy and economics.

The Brookings Mountain West Initiative was announced Tuesday. The program will focus on infrastructure, public policy and quality of life issues in Las Vegas and the West.

The program will bring scholars from the nonpartisan and nonprofit Brookings Institution to Las Vegas for rotating residencies.

Last month the university announced that it is receiving a $14 million donation from billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's Lincy Foundation to establish The Lincy Institute at UNLV, which will work to let regional organizations better address challenges in education, health care, social systems and public policy.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Metro Expecting 800 to 1,000 Applicants for Job Testing

Metro Police will be holding a recruiting event that could draw as many as 1,000 interested applicants.

The applicants will be testing to get into the police academy. This is the last testing session for 2009.

The testing will take place Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 at Cashman Center, 850 No. Las Vegas Blvd. starting at 8 a.m.

For more information, visit www.protectthecity.com.



Homeless Seek Relief from Heat in Emergency Rooms

When the temperatures reach dangerous highs in the Las Vegas valley it translates into extra busy fire department and crowded emergency rooms. However, some of those people requesting medical help are really just looking for a place to cool off.

Fire crews say it's frustrating because it wastes valuable resources and costs taxpayers extra money.

Evelyn Lundell is an emergency room nurse at University Medical Centers and she know when the temperature heats up, the mad rush of patients begins.

"I would imagine the next three days we're going to see a high traffic of homeless coming in because of the heat," said Evelyn Lundell, UMC registered nurse.

A good number of patients that roll through this emergency room are homeless. Lundell says some of them come up with a bogus medical condition to get out of the heat and in a cool bed.

Authorities Arrest 7 for Suspected Arson Fires

Las Vegas fire officials say two adults and five juveniles have been arrested on arson charges after unrelated fires in three spots over the weekend. No names have been released.

A fire spokesman says a man was arrested Saturday after setting a tree afire on Bruce Street. Four juveniles were arrested Saturday afternoon after a trash fire caused minor damage to a  restroom in a community park in northwest Las Vegas. And a man and a juvenile were arrested early Monday morning after a car fire on a remote part of Wyatt Avenue.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)